A spring salad of Broad beans, white cabbage and toasted pumpkin seeds with a yogurt and maple dressing
March 4, 2013
It’s the first week of March and the weather is already sunnier and warmer. Yay! It’s a rare alignment of dates and weather. Shouldn’t get too excited – it’ll probably be snowing by the end of the week. We have broad beans in this week, a preview of summer to come. You can of course steam then toss them with garlic and chili and stir through pasta for a super quick meal. Go one calorie- tastic step further and sauté them with pancetta and stir in cream, pasta and plenty of pasta for absolute heaven on a plate.
As it’s nearly summer 😉 I made a salad with this week’s white cabbage. It’s a sort of coleslaw I suppose. I shredded the cabbage finely and mixed it with a few finely diced carrots – half and half roughly. Steam the beans and toast the same volume of pumpkin seeds. The dressing is yogurt based and instead of honey for sweetness I used maple syrup which makes a nice change. This quantity makes enough for 2 or 3 people to have as a side with say, fish or as part of a larger picky type meal.
A salad of Broad beans, white cabbage and toasted pumpkin seeds with a yogurt and maple dressing
Half head white cabbage shredded finely and chopped
2-3 large carrots diced finely
500gr broad beans podded
100gr pumpkin seeds
For the dressing
2 tablespoon yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
First of all make the dressing – whisk all the ingredients together. Check and correct the seasoning if necessary then set aside.
Pod the beans then steam until tender. Allow to cool then pop each bean out of its pod.
Toast the pumpkin seeds by placing with on a frying pan and toasting over a medium heat til they change colour.
To put the salad together. Toss the cabbage and carrot into a serving bowl. Top with the beans and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with a little of the dressing and serve the rest on the side.
June 29, 2012
It might be windy. It might even be rainy. But it is officially summer here in Dublin and salad is back on the menu at ours. Yay!!!! So, without further ado (it’s been a long day especially without Claire in the office and there’s a barbecue that’s just been lit calling me) here’s my suggestion for this week’s lovely broad beans, tomatoes and that gorgeous lettuce…. a salad with giant croutons. The croutons make it a bit more substantial than your average summer salad aswell as giving the whole thing a lot more chew which I really like.
Now these aren’t those croutons you buy in bags with weird powder on them these guys are homemade and all the better for it. I made mine with stale ciabatta I stashed in the freezer a few weeks ago (I love it when a plan comes together!) and I laced them with sumac. Sumac, if you’re not familiar with it, is a dark red lemony spice found in middle Eastern cooking which you’ll find in good delis or middle Eastern shops. I also threw in some feta (predictable? moi?) . The dressing was pretty simple – lemon and olive oil with a splash of balsamic for richness but I also added some crushed garlic for bite. A chive and sour cream omelette on the side and that was lunch. Yum.
The first (of many) summer salad with broad beans, vine tomatoes and feta with sumac croutons
1 Little Gem lettuce washed, dried with the larger leaves torn
300gr (a large handful) cherry vine tomatoes halved or quartered depending on the size or 2 large vine tomatoes chopped
500gr broad beans
100gr feta cheese
2 thick slices ciabatta crusts removed
olive oil for frying
For the dressing
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice half lemon
1 fat clove garlic
Maldon sea salt
A pinch of sugar
Make the croutons first by cutting the bread into large chunks. Heat some olive oil on the pan and when it’s hot, add the bread and fry until golden adding a little more oil if things start to dry out too much. Take off the pan and drain on kitchen paper while you get everything else ready.
Make the dressing by first smashing then finely chopping the garlic. Whisk it with oil, lemon juice, a pinch of sugar, a dash of balsamic and a pinch of crushed Maldon and set aside.
Pod the beans then steam for about 3 minutes. Rinse under cold water then pop each one out of it’s skin. Toss the lettuce, beans, tomatoes and feta together with the dressing.
To finish things off, sprinkle each crouton with a little sumac and place on top of the salad. Bring to garden, sit and hopefully don’t have all the napkins blow away like we did last night! Lee was very confused…………
Have a brilliant weekend,
June 30, 2011
Broad beans this week, one of my absolute favourite summer varieties. You don’t need to do much, ham in all its guises works wondefully as do things like feta and sundried tomatoes. If you haven’t cooked them before it’s easy – pod them then steam for a few minutes til tender, cool then pop each bean out of its skin. Choose from either of the two salads below and lunch is ready in, ooh, 5 minutes. Easy.
Warm Salad of Broad Beans and Serrano Ham
300-400gr broad beans cooked as described above
50gr serrano ham cut into strips or torn
6-8 mint leaves shredded (do this just before serving or it will discolour)
Toss the beans in some olive oil in a hot wok or frying pan. Add the ham and toss. Remove from heat and garnish with some fresh mint. Serve warm with some crusty bread.
Broad bean salad with feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and salad leaves
300-400gr broad beans cooked as described above
2 generous handfuls of salad leaves or more if you’re feeding more than 2
100gr feta cheese
6 large sundried tomatoes sliced or torn
3 -4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry or white wine vinegar
A tiny pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper
Combine the beans with the salad leaves, cheese and tomatoes. Mix the dressing ingredients together, taste then add more vinegar or salt if it needs it. Dress the salad then serve.
I’m really happy with this one. It’s a cous cous salad and, as you know, I make a lot of those. This one is different. No, really. Why? Instead of using plain old water to cook the grains I infused it with thyme and star anise and it rocked!!!! To be honest, I stole the idea from Dylan Mc Grath. I had an absolutely amazing dinner in Rustic Stone last week which included a whole sea bream they had on special. One of the things it came with was a kind of grain risotto. I asked what was in it and the waiter listed off about 10 things including thyme and star anise. These two struck me as the place to start (after all I don’t have 10 comis at my beck and call so simplicity tends to be key). All it took was sticking some thyme and a few star anise in the water I steamed the beans for the salad in then using that water to cook the cous cous. Genius.
Star anise, if you don’t know, it is a spice (that is actually star-shaped) that hails from China originally. Although they’re not related, it has the same flavour as anise due to the presence of something called anethole. It’s used all over Asia and is one of the spices in Chinese 5 spice which I’m a big fan of. I love it not least because it’s so pretty. In the past I’ve used it to decorate kitchen shelves, sticking it on with blu tack then leaving it to send out random bursts of perfume (the state of my current kitchen and its shelves will not be mentioned this week but the end is in sight!!!!)
So, apart from all this spicy loveliness what else is in the salad? Well, first off there’s blood orange. It nearly the end of their season so I had to use them. Then we’ve got broad beans which I always think of as a high summer staple. The Spanish variety have been available for a while and I finally weakened and got some this week. I love broad beans. Some of my absolute favourite dishes are made with them. The root veg that we’ve had all winter are now on the wane and we’re at that crossover stage also known as “the hungry gap” . The Irish summer crops are still a way off (Marc Michel says a month or so for his stuff while we’ve already had the first of this year’s gorgeous baby leaves from the Healy’s) so we supplement our Irish stocks with some Spanish goodies. Finally there’s a generous measure of salty feta which just seems to set the whole thing off perfectly.
Star anise infused cous cous with broad beans, feta and blood oranges
300gr broad beans shelled
3 star anise
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup whole meal cous cous
1 blood orange peeled and cut into segments then sliced
Begin by podding the beans. I usually steam them and this time I added 1 teaspoon dried thyme and 3 star anise to the steaming water. The beans take about 2 minutes to steam then you add 2 cups of water to the liquid left over and gently heat it all up. Let the beans cool and while this is going on put the cous cous on a dry pan and begin toasting it over a medium heat until it turns golden. When the grains have changed colour, turn the heat down and add the liquid along with the star anise and thyme. Cook over a lowish heat until the liquid has been absorbed then turn off the heat. Continue stirring adding some olive oil so the grains don’t stick. Let the cous cous cool down while you prepare the other ingredients. Pop the beans out of their skins and then throw them into the cous cous along with the orange slices and the feta. Mix together and taste for seasoning. I didn’t add any salt because the feta seemed to give a big enough hit but you may want a little. We ate this sitting on the back door step in a blaze of sunshine. Roll on the summer!!!!!